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Hernando County Fairgrounds won't be penalized over mud bog

Published Mar. 23, 2012

BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando County Fair Association will not face any penalties from the Southwest Florida Water Management District for unauthorized work that was performed in conjunction with a recent mud-bogging competition.

Swiftmud spokeswoman Robyn Felix said inspectors visited the site and are satisfied so far with efforts to restore a 5-acre area on fair association property that was used for the event.

According to the complaint mailed March 6 to fair association president Sandra Nicholson, a Swiftmud engineer visiting the site on Feb. 24 discovered a 1.5-acre mud bog that had been dug for an event called Truck Fest. Inspectors returned March 1 to find that the bog had grown to nearly three times the original size.

The complaint alleged that event promoter Richard Klimas failed to obtain an environmental resource permit before the excavation, had filled in a drainage ditch without permission, and didn't install a sufficient number of absorbent barriers to prevent accidental runoff.

The area used for the event is within a hundred yards of a wetlands area, Felix said.

Klimas told the Hernando Times that he was not aware that a permit was needed to build the mud bog, adding that he and his staff put up silt barriers around the area and installed a 12-inch plastic pipe to maintain the drainage ditch.

Felix said inspectors plan to return to the site today.

Logan Neill can be reached at (352) 848-1435 or